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Team unhappy about Olympic format changes
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The Olympic Commission of the International Table Tennis Federation has decided to play singles ahead of team events at the 2012 Olympics in a disappointing move for the dominant Chinese squad.

The ITTF will seek to have singles events held first at the London Games by submitting a proposal to the International Olympic Committee, according to an ITTF statement on Tuesday. China voted against the proposal, said an ITTF official, who asked not to be named.

"The proposal, once approved by the IOC, will hurt the interests of Chinese players," said the official.

"Chinese players will have to unite as one for the team events after fighting each other in singles. It might be a bit difficult to forget possible bad feelings arising from singles rivalry among teammates."

The ITTF said the proposal was fairer on players not part of team events, for which media interest is stronger. For the team events, the table tennis ruling body will propose to play a simple knockout competition among the 16 teams, said the statement.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2009)

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